Monthly Archives: June 2017

Hometown Boy’s Rose Fest Parade Forecast

By Rob Paola


Rob Paola, formerly of Welland, is an Environment Canada meteorologist based in Winnipeg. (Supplied photo)

WELLAND – It looks like the unsettled weather pattern of the past few days will continue Sunday with scattered showers and thunderstorms expected over Niagara by early afternoon, including the Welland area.

Sunday morning will start off dry with a mix of sun and cloud, along with temperatures in the mid to upper teens. By parade time at 1 pm, temperatures should be around 21C (70F) in Welland with brisk southwest winds of 30 to 50 km/h.

Rain clouds will be building by that time, and it’s possible (though not a certainty) the parade may see an intermittent shower or even a thunderstorm during the event. These showers will be hit and miss, so hopefully Welland will dodge any shower activity until the parade is over.

According to my records, the last Rose Festival parade that saw some rain was back in 2004, so the parade has had a good streak of dry weather for over a decade now. Here’s hoping the streak continues tomorrow! (But be prepared for rain just in case..)

Whatever the weather… have an enjoyable Rose Parade!

(Editor’s note: “Welland boy” Rob Paola is a meteorologist with Environment Canada who lives and works in Winnipeg. He is a graduate of Centennial Secondary School here and McGill University, Montreal. He enjoys keeping a watchful eye on Welland’s weather, even though it is from afar. His always interesting posts appear as weather features on the blog from time to time. Thanks Rob!)

Road Closure Clarification

WELLAND –  A clarification about road closures and the triathlon in Welland.

There is a short-distance closure on Canal Bank Street, the stretch between Ontario Road and Townline Tunnel Road, between 7:30am and 1:30pm today (Saturday). There are no residential properties in the area.

The other road affected, also today, is the Dain City Bridge to Elm Street. Though not a full closure, traffic  is restricted so only those who are leaving Dain City westbound along Forks Road can pass through.

A previous report  indicated there are no road closures during the event.


Coun. Letourneau, “Distinguished Figure In Francophone Community”, Mourned

WELLAND – City of Welland Council and staff are mourning the loss of Welland’s Ward 5 Councillor Rocky Letourneau, who passed away on Thursday, June 22, 2017. Councillor Letourneau was a distinguished figure in the Francophone community. He helped bring a variety of Francophone events to Welland, including the Francophone Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AFMO) conference in 2014.

Councillor Letourneau lobbied to have a permanent flagpole at Welland Civic Square to display the Francophone flag. Today that flag flies at half mast, along with the City of Welland flag. Councillors will wear ribbons, coupled with the City Crest in memory of their colleague and friend at the next scheduled council meeting on Tuesday, June 27.

Bridge 13 will also light the sky with Franco-Ontarian colours on June 27, to commemorate Councillor Letourneau’s life and unfaltering dedication to his constituents, his community, and his work as a City of Welland Councillor.

city logo

WELLAND Le Conseil Municipal de la ville de Welland et son personnel sont en deuil avec le décès du conseiller du quartier 5 Rocky Letourneau jeudi le 22 juin 2017.   Conseiller Letourneau était une figure distinguée dans la communité francophone.  Son appui et travail dans cette communauté a aidé d’apporter une variété d’événements de langue française à Welland, y inclus la conférence de 2014 de l’association des municipalités françaises de l’Ontario (AFMO).

Conseiller Letourneau a fait pression pour un mat permanent pour le drapeau franco-ontarien.  Ce drapeau sera à mi- mat aujourd’hui aussi bien que celui du drapeau municipal de la ville.  Conseillers seront vêtus de ruban, couplé avec la crête de la ville en mémoire de leur collège et ami durant la prochaine rencontre du Conseil mardi le 27 juin.

Le Pont #13 sera illuminé des couleurs franco-ontariennes le 27 juin pour commémorez sa vie et son dévouement sans faille à ses électeurs; sa communauté et son travail comme Conseiller de la ville de Welland.

(Source: City of Welland news release)

City Shorts, Try ’em On For Size

DSC_8911 (2)

City’s popular summer recreation program has started up for a new season. See City Shorts brief below. (File photo/Joe Barkovich)

Compilation by Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large


City Shorts

City Shorts is a compilation, from various sources (government websites, news announcements, press releases, church bulletins, advertisements, community service information and events, bulletin boards, requests, telephone requests, web postings, email requests etc.) of short items (in most cases) about matters of local interest in Welland. Want to submit an item for consideration? Please send to:


WELLAND  – This week’s Spring Convocation at Niagara College’s Welland campus feted more than 4,600 students. The ceremonies were held daily from Tuesday, June 20 to Friday, June 23 .

This year’s ceremony takes on a special significance as NC joins all Ontario colleges in celebrating its 50th anniversary.


Dan Patterson

“Our Convocation ceremonies are the highlight of our academic year, and this spring they take on a very special significance as we celebrate this important milestone,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson.

“I can think of no greater example of our college’s evolution over the last half century than the Class of 2017 – a record number of graduates who will go on to drive key industries here in Niagara and around the world.”


WELLAND – The 56th annual Welland Rose Festival wraps up this weekend. For full details, visit the website, https:


city logoWELLAND – All three public pools are scheduled to open Saturday, June 24. City staff continue to prepare the pools for the swimming season; however, extraordinarily heavy rainfall delayed pre-season maintenance significantly.

The following schedule begins June 24 for the Rosie Smith Pool, Memorial Park Pool, and Maple Park Pool: Weekdays: 6 pm to 8 pm. Weekends:  Noon to 4 pm & 6pm to 8pm.

The following regular extended schedule begins on June 30, 2017 for the Rosie Smith Pool, Memorial Park Pool, and Maple Park Pool: Weekdays: 1pm to 4 pm & 6pm to 8pm. Weekends: 12 pm to 4pm & 6pm to 8 pm.


WELLAND – Welland Rotary’s Duck Race is being held Sunday, June 25  at the Welland Rose Festival Parade. Duck race starts at 12 pm sharp at the Division Street Bridge. Race starts at the Division Street and ends at the Main Street Bridge. Tickets can be purchased through Welland Rotarians, on the day of the race at the Rotary Tent (near the Division Street Bridge – just look for the BIG DUCK) or at any Welland Rose Festival Events.


WELLAND  – Mark your calendars for the Seaway Mall Branch Grand Opening event!

The Grand Opening will take place on Tuesday, June 27.  Doors will open at 10:30am for the 11am reception. Come celebrate!!  Seaway Mall Branch library services will be available starting at 1 pm on June 27.


WELLAND – The next Antique and Artisan Market is scheduled for Sunday, June 25,  9am – 2pm at Welland Farmers’ Market, 50 Market Square. Events: Food Truck Frenzy, Repair Cafe, Workshops, Junk in the Trunk & more.


WELLAND – The Welland Public Library is proud to partner with Welland Transit and the City of Welland for another summer of reading and riding to library branches. Ride to Read supports our TD Summer Reading Club and summer programs. This special service begins Monday, June 26.

Those participating in Ride to Read 2017 will be entered in a draw for a special prize donated by the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1633! For more details, or to get your sticker for Ride to Read 2017, visit any of our library branches starting Saturday, June 24.


WELLAND –  The latest issue of Boardwalk Banter is available now! Find all the latest news of what is happening at the Welland Public Library. This issue features a Harry Potter Quiz and ways that you can connect with us throughout the summer.

Pick up your copy at the Main Branch or Diamond Trail Branch today, or read it online here. It will also be available at the Seaway Mall Branch at the Grand Opening on Tuesday, June 27, 2017.


WELLAND – Enjoy outdoor yoga with instructor Rose Kobelka on Saturday, June 24 at 10:30 am. Please come dressed in appropriate outdoor yoga attire. Register by calling (905) 734-6210 ext. 2521 or through the online Events calendar.


WELLAND – The 2017 music series Jammin’ at the downtown market is now in full swing. Featured performers are: Heather Glabb, June 24; Flatwater Shadows, July 15; Joe Crawford Karaoke, July 29; David and Joni, August 12; Niagara Region Old Tyme Fiddlers, August 26; Jessica Wilson, September 2 and Tracks, September 9. Great entertainment while you shop at our local farmers market.


WELLAND –  Welland’s popular canoe rental program has started up for the season at the PenFinancial Credit Union Flatwater Centre.

Canoes, solo kayaks, tandem kayaks, standup paddle boards and pedal boats are available for rent at the site. The centre is open 10am to 6pm on weekends in June and September. During July and August the centre is open weekdays as well, from 11am to 6pm. More info, including fees and age policy, is available on the city’s website.

Distinguished Former Wellander To Address Grads Friday

WELLAND – Murray Brewster, an Ottawa-based correspondent for CBC News where he is the senior parliamentary defence and foreign policy writer, is guest speaker at the Friday, June 23 convocation ceremonies at Niagara College. He is also recipient of the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award. The ceremonies start at 10 a.m.


Murray Brewster (CBC photo)

Brewster grew up in Welland and graduated from Niagara College’s Broadcasting: Radio, TV and Film program in 1985.

Earlier in his career, he was senior defence writer at The Canadian Press for more than a decade. He has filed most recently from Iraq and Ukraine, and spent 15 months in Afghanistan during the five-year Kandahar combat mission, travelling with troops and unilaterally throughout the country.

His book, The Savage War: The Untold Battles of Afghanistan, was published in 2011 by John Wiley and Sons, and he was the lead writer on the documentary Kandahar Journals, which aired on CBC Documentary Channel and was released in the United States during the fall of 2015.

Last fall, he also contributed to a book on former prime minister Stephen Harper’s policy legacy titled The Harper Factor, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Brewster has won 12 regional and national Radio and Television News Director Awards, two Atlantic Journalism Awards, and the Ross Munro (2010) Award for war corresponding.

He appeared as a finalist twice in the Michener Awards for public service in journalism (1989 and 2014), and was a finalist in the National Newspaper Awards (2010) for beat reporting.

Old Fort Erie To Host Napoleonic Battle Reenactment

forst erie

FORT ERIE – Niagara Parks’ historic Old Fort Erie will be transformed into a Spanish border fortress during the Peninsula War and the era of Napoleon, to host the largest Napoleonic Living History Event ever held in North America from Saturday, June 24, through to Sunday, June 25.

Appealing to history buffs, military experts and anyone interested in witnessing history brought to life, the Napoleonic Reenactment offers a truly unique heritage experience. Talented reenactors from Europe, Canada and the United States will take over the grounds of Old Fort Erie to set up camp and man the walls or siege lines.

The weekend-long event features a full schedule of reenactment activities including battles, military encampments, demonstrations, historic merchants and more. The reenactment events will begin on Saturday, June 24, at 10:00 a.m., finishing with a battle reenactment at 7:30 p.m. Activities start up again on Sunday, June 25, at 10:00 a.m. and the event will conclude at 5:00 p.m.

Viewing the battles and walking amongst the camps are free. Admission to Old Fort Erie is $12.50 for an adult (13+), $8.15 for children ages 6 to 12 and children under five are free.

Old Fort Erie is located at 350 Lakeshore Road in Fort Erie, Ontario. The historic Fort, designed to reflect its history as a Fort under siege, is a scenic 20-minute drive south of Niagara Falls and a short distance from the Peace Bridge for visitors entering Canada from Buffalo, New York. The Visitor Centre, grounds and the main floor rooms of the Fort are all wheelchair accessible. Please visit for more information.

Niagara Parks is a self-financed agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport that was established in 1885 to protect the natural and cultural heritage of the Niagara River Corridor. Operating costs for the organization are funded through visitation to the natural attractions, locally sourced restaurants, golf courses, shops and other facilities along the 56-kilometre Niagara Parkway that comprises Niagara Parks.

(Source: Niagara Parks press release)

‘Unique’ Canada Day Regatta Returns To Welland

city logoWELLAND – The Welland International Flatwater Centre (WIFC) is welcoming more than 600 athletes to the waterway on July 1, 2017, to compete in the Canada Day Regatta. Organized by the Dominion Day Regatta Association (DDRA), the 133 year-old event attracts athletes from novice to advanced.

The Canada Day Regatta is unique because it is features competition in rowing, canoe, kayak, and dragon boat in a single event. Athletes from all over South Western Ontario—and from all four disciplines—will travel to Welland with dreams of taking home the gold.

“Our team is excited to have the Canada Day Regatta back at the WIFC once again,” said WIFC Manager, Richard Dalton. “We’re thrilled the DDRA is bringing this amazing event to Welland. This is an event with a tremendous history and we’re proud to be able to host it in our community.”

“We are thankful to the WIFC for welcoming the 133rd annual Canada Day Regatta on its North Course,” said DDRA Chair of Rowing, Joe Lyttle. “Competitors love competing on the North Course because of the great water conditions and the facility, which is one of the finest for spectators and athletes.”

For more information on the WIFC and 2017 scheduled events visit, or for more information on the Canada Day Regatta visit


SPORTS: Triathletes To Converge On Rose City


Waiting for the start of a swim event at last year’s Rose City Triathlon. (File photo/Joe Barkovich)

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

WELLAND – About 1,000 athletes are expected in Welland over the approaching weekend for the Rose City Triathlon.

Saturday’s races include Sprint Triathlon, Sprint Duathlon and the Give-It-A-Tri.

Sunday’s is the long course event.

For the second consecutive year, the city’s acclaimed Welland International Flatwater Centre is the headquarters for racing on both days. Previous to this, the event was based out of the Welland Arena, King Street.

The race was formerly known as the Welland Triathlon. It changed names about four or five years ago, said Ron Lemon, coordinator of volunteers.

Lemon said about 80 volunteers are involved in putting on the races, in various capacities.

Roads are not closed in the Dain City area during the races, although police will be on duty at all intersections where races are on, particularly at the Dain City bridge, Lemon said.

The Welland races are part of the MultiSport Canada Triathlon Series.

The full schedule is provided below. For more details visit the website

Saturday schedule:

Race Type


Race Start

Sprint Duathlon
2.5km Run – 20km Bike – 5km Run
8:30 AM
Sprint Duathlon Relay
2.5km Run – 20km Bike – 5km Run
8:30 AM
Sprint Triathlon
750m Swim – 20km Bike – 5km Run
8:30 AM
Sprint Swim Bike
750m Swim – 20km Bike
8:30 AM
Sprint Swim Run
750m Swim – 5km Run
8:30 AM
Sprint Triathlon Relay
750m Swim – 20km Bike – 5km Run
8:30 AM
400m Swim – 10km Bike – 2.5km Run
11:30 AM
Give-It-A-Tri Swim Bike
400m Swim – 10km Bike
11:30 AM
Give-It-A-Tri Swim Run
400m Swim – 2.5km Run
11:30 AM
Give-It-A-Tri Relay
400m Swim – 10km Bike – 2.5km Run
11:30 AM

Sunday schedule:

Race Type


Race Start

Long Course Triathlon
2km Swim – 56km Bike – 15km Run
8:30 AM
Long Course Swim Bike
2km Swim – 56km Bike
8:30 AM
Long Course Bike Run
56km Bike – 15km Run
9:10 AM
Long Course Tri Relay
2km Swim – 56km Bike – 15km Run
8:30 AM






Coming Our Way: Thunderstorms, Wind Gusts, Downpours


10:35 AM EDT Sunday 18 June 2017
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for:

  • Niagara Falls – Welland – Southern Niagara Region
  • St. Catharines – Grimsby – Northern Niagara Region

Numerous thunderstorms are expected to affect much of southern Ontario this afternoon and early evening. Damaging wind gusts and torrential downpours giving rainfall amounts in excess of 50 mm are the main threats.

Large hail can damage property and cause injury. Strong wind gusts can toss loose objects, damage weak buildings, break branches off trees and overturn large vehicles. Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. Lightning kills and injures Canadians every year. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors!

Severe thunderstorm watches are issued when atmospheric conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms that could produce one or more of the following: large hail, damaging winds, torrential rainfall.

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management recommends that you take cover immediately if threatening weather approaches.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to or tweet reports using #ONStorm.

For more information: